'Collective Identity' and the EU Failure
We have all read reports after reports and heard experts after experts on the ongoing EU crisis. EU has always been a fascinating subject for Economists, IR professionals, Sociologists and even Philosophers.
For the first time in the history, since the culmination of 'Thirty Years War' in 1648 that paved the way for the emergence of 'Sovereign States', an attempt was made to pool sovereignty to achieve economic unification.
There are different views on why the EU is in the shape it is currently. Most prominent among those views are two' first being a Monetary Union without a Fiscal Union was doomed to fail sooner or later and the other being exchange rate of Euro working in favor of Germany wherein continued growth in productivity and savings in Germany never led to an appreciation of currency leading to an export boom at the cost of others in the EU. Some go on to the extent of saying Germany did to the EU what China has done to the US.
While each position has a strong factual and theoretical base, it ignores a key aspect of the basis problem that EU has had since the beginning and I am going to elaborate that in this post.
Basic flaw at the heart of EU lies in the absence of 'Collective Identity' of being a 'Supernational Nation State' or being 'Europeans' among its citizens. Collective identities matter because they help shape the definition of the Nation States’ interests and that drives the economic, foreign and domestic policy.Identity is an inescapable dimension of being and refers to a certain 'logic' or tendency of human 'being' at both the individual and collective level. It is the ‘demands of identity’ that encourage subjects to present and conceive of themselves as universal and sovereign, rather than produced and contingent.Continued on the next page